He wears his new ‘Goat Head’ third shirt for the first time, Alexander cloth felt the jitters as he watched over 17,000 Sabers fans fill the KeyBank Center on Wednesday night.
“Tonight I also had the feeling of being one of the fans,” said Tuch. “Back to the good old days of the Goathead jersey.”
Tuch had two assists as Buffalo claimed their second win in as many nights with a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
The Sabers held ’90s Night to introduce the third jersey, an updated version of the main jerseys they wore from 1996-2006. Sabers fans cheered, sang, and even started the wave as they watched Buffalo snatch the Blues’ seven-game winning streak.
“We were looking forward to this game, to put on these jerseys”, Dylan Cozens said. “When we saw them we were so excited to wear the black and red and just go out. We knew the fans would love it too. They came out and they showed up tonight. It was a great atmosphere.”
After a 7-2 win over Montreal last night, the Sabers had the date marked on their calendars and were expecting a big, energetic crowd.
“We’re part of the community so I think it’s inevitable for us that that will catch up in the dressing room and the boys will feed off that excitement.” Jeff Skinner said.
Skinner and Jack Quinn score twice each, while Cozens and Victor Olofsson also extra goals in the win.
goalkeeper Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves in the net.
Here’s the breakdown of how it happened.
How it happened
Tuch, a native of Baldwinsville, New York, who cheered for the team when they originally wore black and red, sent a pass behind the net to Skinner, who came on after 18 seconds to give the Sabers an early lead.
Video: [email protected]: Skinner scores to put Sabers on the board
Days Thompson He nearly found the scorers’ list when, at the 6:18 mark, he lumbered around the St. Louis defense and hand-returned a shot off the goalpost.
The Sabers beat the Blues 11-8 in the opening period.
The Blues equalized in the 53rd second with a power play goal from Pavel Buchnevich.
Buffalo jumped back into the lead after a 3-on-1 that ended with Cozens burying a shot from the left wing, helped by Vinnie Hinostroza and JJ Peterka.
Video: [email protected]: Cozens shoots a one-timer to the goal
Olofsson extended the lead on the power play when he hit a shot from his favorite spot to the 5:57 mark.
Video: [email protected]: Olofsson extends lead with PPG to 2nd place
Skinner ran around Justin Faulk and backhanded past Jordan Binnington to score his second of the game and the Sabers’ second power play goal with 6:59 remaining in the period.
Video: [email protected]: Skinner makes an incredible move for PPG
Just minutes later, Luukkonen robbed Vladimir Tarasenko of the net to hold Buffalo 4-1.
The Blues thought they were closer with a 6-11 record but the goal was canceled for offside.
The Sabers extended their lead when Quinn brought home a wrist shot with 7:16 to go. He scored another goal at 1:17 for the first multi-goal game of his career.
Video: [email protected]: Quinn takes a quick effort on goal
Video: [email protected]: Quinn fakes and shoots on goal
Brayden Schenn finished the goal with 1:04 to go.
What we learned
1. With a goal scored after 35 seconds Tuesday night and 18 seconds Wednesday, the Sabers scored a first-minute goal on consecutive days for the first time in franchise history, according to NHL PR.
Skinner’s first goal also marked the third time in team history and the first time since December 19–21, 2006, that the Sabers scored in the first half of the game in a row in the first minute, according to Sabers PR.
2. With his two goals tonight, Skinner has seven points (4+3) in his last two games.
“Two incredible goals from him tonight,” said Tuch. “He’s on a different level right now and it’s great to just be a part of it and help him out there a little bit.”
Skinner wasn’t sure if he believed in Streaks for himself, instead attributing his play to the team.
“I think when guys succeed, it’s because the line is playing well or the team is playing well,” Skinner said. “I think in the last two games we played well as a team and our line clicked pretty well.”
3. Tuch assisted on both of Skinner’s goals to extend his points streak to five games. He registered 10 points (3+7) in this period.
4. Cozens is on his own points streak with four points (1+3) in the last three games.
5. Buffalo will be back in black and red against the Sharks on December 4th. Tickets are available here.
The Sabers will wear their Reverse Retro jerseys for their next game when they take on the New Jersey Devils at the KeyBank Center on Friday. Tickets are now available.
Coverage on MSG begins at 7:30 p.m. The puck drops 8 to MSG and WGR 550.